Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Expectations

 

 How equal can we become? Equal in what?

It would be nice to be objective in life, in many ways. The problem is that we have these color-tinted glasses as we look at all kinds of situations.

For example, think about something as simple as beer. If I gave you a few beers to taste and I asked you to rate them on intensity and bitterness, different beers would occupy different space.

But what if we tried to be objective about it? In the case of beer, it would be very simple.

What if we did a blind taste? Well, if we did the same thing, you tasted the same beer, now in the blind taste, things would look slightly different.

Most of the beers will go into one place. You will basically not be able to distinguish them, and the exception, of course, will be Guinness. (Laughter)

Similarly, we can think about physiology.

What happens when people expect something from their physiology? For example, we sold people pain medications.

Some people, we told them the medications were expensive. Some people, we told them it was cheap. And the expensive pain medication worked better. It relieved more pain from people, because expectations do change our physiology. And of course, we all know that in sports, if you are a fan of a particular team, you can’t help but see the game develop from the perspective of your team.

1:33So all of those are cases in which our preconceived notions and our expectations color our world. But what happened in more important questions?

What happened with questions that had to do with social justice?

So we wanted to think about what is the blind tasting version for thinking about inequality?

So we started looking at inequality, and we did some large-scale surveys around the U.S. and other countries. So we asked two questions:

1.  Do people know what kind of level of inequality we have? And then,

2.  what level of inequality do we want to have?

Let’s think about the first question. Imagine I took all the people in the U.S. and I sorted them from the poorest on the right to the richest on the left, and then I divided them into 5 buckets:

the poorest 20%, the next 20 percent, the next, the next, and the richest 20 percent.

And then I asked you to tell me how much wealth do you think is concentrated in each of those buckets. So to make it simpler, imagine I ask you to tell me, how much wealth do you think is concentrated in the bottom two buckets, the bottom 40 percent? Take a second. Think about it and have a number. Usually we don’t think. Think for a second, have a real number in your mind. You have it?

Okay, here’s what lots of Americans tell us.

They think that the bottom 20 percent has about 2.9 percent of the wealth, the next group has 6.4, so together it’s slightly more than nine. The next group, they say, has 12 percent, 20 percent, and the richest 20 percent, people think has 58 percent of the wealth. You can see how this relates to what you thought.

Now, what’s reality? Reality is slightly different.

The bottom 20 percent has 0.1 % of the wealth. The next 20 percent has 0.2 percent of the wealth. Together, it’s 0.3. The next group has 3.9, 11.3, and the richest group has 84% of the wealth.

So what we actually have and what we think we have are very different.

What about what we want? How do we even figure this out?

So to look at this, to look at what we really want, we thought about the philosopher John Rawls.

If you remember John Rawls, he had this notion of what’s a just society. He said a just society is a society that if you knew everything about it, you would be willing to enter it in a random place.

And it’s a beautiful definition, because if you’re wealthy, you might want the wealthy to have more money, the poor to have less.

If you’re poor, you might want more equality.

But if you’re going to go into that society in every possible situation, and you don’t know, you have to consider all the aspects. It’s a little bit like blind tasting in which you don’t know what the outcome will be when you make a decision, and Rawls called this the “veil of ignorance.”

4:33So, we took another group, a large group of Americans, and we asked them the question in the veil of ignorance.

What are the characteristics of a country that would make you want to join it, knowing that you could end randomly at any place? And here is what we got.

What did people want to give to the first group, the bottom 20 percent? They wanted to give them about 10 percent of the wealth. The next group, 14 percent of the wealth, 21, 22 and 32.

5:03Now, nobody in our sample wanted full equality. Nobody thought that socialism is a fantastic idea in our sample. But what does it mean?

It means that we have this knowledge gap between what we have and what we think we have, but we have at least as big a gap between what we think is right to what we think we have.

Now, we can ask these questions, by the way, not just about wealth. We can ask it about other things as well.

So for example, we asked people from different parts of the world about this question, people who are liberals and conservatives, and they gave us basically the same answer. We asked rich and poor, they gave us the same answer, men and women, NPR listeners and Forbes readers. We asked people in England, Australia, the U.S. — very similar answers. We even asked different departments of a university.We went to Harvard and we checked almost every department, and in fact, from Harvard Business School, where a few people wanted the wealthy to have more and the rich to have less, the similarity was astonishing.

I know some of you went to Harvard Business School.

We also asked this question about something else. We asked, what about the ratio of CEO pay to unskilled workers?

So you can see what people think is the ratio, and then we can ask the question, what do they think should be the ratio?

And then we can ask, what is reality? What is reality? And you could say, well, it’s not that bad, right? The red and the yellow are not that different. But the fact is, it’s because I didn’t draw them on the same scale. It’s hard to see, there’s yellow and blue in there.

So what about other outcomes of wealth? Wealth is not just about wealth.

We asked, what about things like health? What about availability of prescription medication? What about life expectancy? What about life expectancy of infants?

How do we want this to be distributed? What about education for young people? And for older people?

And across all of those things, what we learned was that people don’t like inequality of wealth, but there’s other things where inequality, which is an outcome of wealth, is even more aversive to them:

For example, inequality in health or education. We also learned that people are particularly open to changes in equality when it comes to people who have less agency — basically, young kids and babies, because we don’t think of them as responsible for their situation.

So what are some lessons from this? We have two gaps:

We have a knowledge gap and we have a desirability gap.  

1. The knowledge gap is something that we think about, how do we educate people? How do we get people to think differently about inequality and the consequences of inequality in terms of health, education, jealousy, crime rate, and so on?

2. Then we have the desirability gap. How do we get people to think differently about what we really want?

You see, the Rawls definition, the Rawls way of looking at the world, the blind tasting approach, takes our selfish motivation out of the picture. How do we implement that to a higher degree on a more extensive scale?

3. And finally, we also have an action gap. How do we take these things and actually do something about it?

I think part of the answer is to think about people like young kids and babies that don’t have much agency, because people seem to be more willing to do this.

To summarize, I would say, next time you go to drink beer or wine, first of all, think about, what is it in your experience that is real, and what is it in your experience that is a placebo effect coming from expectations? And then think about what it also means for other decisions in your life, and hopefully also for policy questions that affect all of us.

Note: The basic concept of wealth in all times was: The privileges of buying services and not just goods.

For example: Having better opportunities to meet with powerful decision makers, buying better equipped prison cells and services, buying better education systems and health systems….

Patsy Z and TEDxSKE shared a link.
The news of society’s growing inequality makes all of us uneasy. But why? Dan Ariely reveals some new, surprising research on what we think is fair, as far as…
TED.COM|BY DAN ARIELY

 

Is it your Wedding Night? What do you think will take place?

According To Married People

Expectations for the wedding night are high. The goal is to have the best sex of your life in the swankiest hotel room you’ve ever stayed in.

All the while managing to keep your eyes open after an exceedingly exhausting day.

But that’s not always how things pan out. Below are 21 first-person accounts of how newlyweds actually spent their very first night as husband and wife, according to Redditors and HuffPost readers.

1. “Having not eaten all day due to stress and nerves, we realized we were STARVING, and ordered Chinese food from the only place open at 4 a.m.

We had more sex while waiting for food, then gorged ourselves on delicious Chinese food and fell asleep watching ‘Wayne’s World.’ It was actually awesome.”

via Giphy

2. “She sat on the floor in front of me. We watched TV while I took the 6,000 hairpins out of her hair. It was a horrible game of pick-up sticks as they were all intertwined. After that we crashed.”

3. “We slept in separate beds! #HotelBookingError!”

4. “We were married at the courthouse by the justice of the peace. We went and had lunch afterwards, a beer, then picked up our 2-year-old and went home.

No fancy wedding, dress, or trip, but I married my best friend and that alone made it the best day of my life.”

5. “It was chaste. My in-laws got us a hotel room for the night in a cutesy inn. The room was directly above theirs.”

6. “We slept then woke up and ate cake naked in bed.”

via Giphy

7. “We got back to the hotel, I carried her across the threshold, and we began to consummate our vows. Moments after we started, there’s a knock at the door. It’s my mom. She then said we should both come down and visit with the family. Not preferred.”

8. “It was nearly 50 years ago, but it was one of the best days of my life. We got married in the morning and after a short reception, we drove to a hotel about halfway to where we were stopping for the honeymoon. We were both sexually inexperienced so it was great fun finding out together.”

9. “Our room had this awesome giant shower with at least 15 different heads and sprayers. We talked about how cool it was for like five minutes then went to bed. My clothes didn’t make it to our hotel room so I had to walk-of-shame in my tux the next morning.”

via Tumblr

10. “Sleeping in my husband’s room at his parents’ house after Chick-fil-A for dinner!”

11. “My wife was literally crying because I was taking too long to undo the 800 buttons on the back of her dress that was now hurting her shoulders too much to wear.

Then she cried as I pulled out the 8,000 hairpins. A few strands of hair and 30 minutes later we attempted sex, both decided we were tired, said ‘f**k it,’ and went to bed cuddling. Love that woman.”

12. “We had been drinking for hours. We ran into our room, had a decent quickie, ran out into the hallway where I declared in a loud, drunken whisper, ‘I don’t have panties on,’ while following our friends to an after-party in another hotel room.

Turns out my mom was behind me and howled with laughter, hugged me and told me I was the perfect daughter. Then she handed me a bottle of whiskey and sent me off with my husband to brew a wicked hangover.”

via Giphy

13. “We eloped without telling anyone and got married in the basement of the courthouse in Harrison, Arkansas. Went home, wife went to her overnight job while I laid on the couch and watched TV.”

14. “We had our hotel room the day before the wedding. Got to the church, did our thing, had a blast at the reception. We leave the reception, my bride tells me her period started at the church. We walked around our favorite store and bought a new board game. We played Monopoly and watched TV on the most comfortable bed we had ever slept on.”

15. “We were exhausted and got to our hotel pretty late. My wife dressed up in some sexy lingerie she got as a gift and we proceeded to crawl into bed. We ate wedding food leftovers packed up for us and had a bottle of champagne and chocolate strawberries while our dog snuggled with us and begged for scraps. It was perfect.”

16. “No sex. Only sleep. Sweet, sweet sleep.”

 

17. “I was eight-months pregnant when we got married. I fell asleep around 10 p.m. and my husband stayed up watching TV. I expected him to come in after a few hours so we could consummate our marriage. Nope. I woke up around 2:30 a.m. and he was still watching TV. I couldn’t fall back asleep and so I leaned over to grab my iPad to read and that’s when my water broke. Seven hours later we had our son.”

18. “You know how the back of a shampoo bottle says ‘lather, rinse, repeat’? Well it was the adult version of that in our awesome hotel room with a late checkout to catch up on the sleeping part.”

19. “My husband and I were both exhausted, so we crawled into our fancy hotel room bed. About an hour after going to bed, I woke up vomiting and with horrible diarrhea. Something I ate hadn’t settled well. My husband held my hair back as I vomited, only reinforcing the reasons I married him in the first place.”

via Giphy

20. “We had a snow-themed wedding, complete with the guests throwing fake snow at us when we left the reception. It was EVERYWHERE. I couldn’t get it out of my crevices, including ‘down there,’ and I had to take three showers to get it off of me. We also had to call housekeeping to bring us another set of sheets, because it was like sleeping on sand.

21. “We had to stop at the drugstore to buy condoms. I was still in my wedding dress.”

*Some responses have been edited and condensed.

 

Handle Expectations with care

Expectations are intangibles, but their effect is quite real.

There is no such thing as “a bad guess, my mistake” in the financial analysis market.

One lousy cent lower than analysts’ forecast and the shares take a plunge.

Many companies bent over backward to meet financial analysts’ predictions. To escape from this Terror, companies started to publish their own estimate labelled “earning guidance

The companies shot themselves in the foot as the analysts were heeding only these internal forecast, and studying more closely the companies performance and errors to boot.

Closely linked to personal expectation  is the placebo effect.

Placebo are pills, treatments and therapies that are unlikely to improve health, but do so anyway.

Apparently, one third of patients who are given placebo get better because the biochemistry of the brain is altered by motivation.

Obviously, if you have a dead brain or a damaged brain (Alzheimer) then placebo has no effects whatsoever.

Teachers who are told that the next  bunch of students have high IQ levels will do their best in order reach the performance expected from these students. These average students actually improve a lot at the end of the year.

Raise your expectations and those you care for in order to increase motivation in matters that you can control.

Best to anticipate surprises in order to better shield yourself from their nastiness.

Read The Art of Thinking Clear

 


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

November 2020
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